My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Stitch Markers I Have Known and Loved

There were a number of comments about stitch markers after my last blog post — including some good ideas for using other things as stitch markers. Here are a couple of those:

From Beverly:

I have a great solution for small stitch markers. (I may have heard this on Knitty Gritty…not sure) What I do is take different colored straws from various fast food places and cut them into little thin rings. One straw makes egads of stitch markers and if you lose them, who cares! They’re cheap, right? I love using them to mark the beginning of a round on socks or to show where the instep stitches are.

From Gayle:

I have another small stitch marker suggestion. Tiny rubbery hair elastics that you can buy from the haircare section make wonderful stitch markers. They come many to a package for less than $5USD and there are lots of colors. You can buy them in many sizes but I like the tiny ones for little girls’ little braids. They are rubbery enough to be a little less slippery, you can color code with them and they work on small needles. I carry them in a little tin. I used them while I was knitting my Clapotis and my dentist asked if they were bands for braces when I was knitting in her office!

Both excellent ideas, no?

While I love cute stitch markers, I don’t use them in my knitting. I find them somehow distracting. But I think they are little works of art and I love having them. Like these:



These were a gift from a friend and I love them. I also love these:



Teeny little Ragdolls! These were purchased from the Wee Ones Etsy shop.
What do I use in my knitting?

My first stitch markers were thin hard plastic ones. I believe they were made by Susan Bates.

Then I got the little red rubber rings.

I bought some sterling silver jumprings for truly elegant plain stitch markers.

I’ve got some of the little latchie jobbers from Clover, but I never use them as stitch markers — I use them to loosely join pieces of knitting when I’m seaming.

My most recent stitch marker acquisition — the green and purple ones made by Clover (and thanks to Margaret for turning me on to them). They are my current favorites.




New sock on the needles:



This is Cider Moon Glacier (sport weight) sock yarn — it’s in the “Wildwood” colorway. I’m using a size 2 (2.75mm) needle and getting 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to the inch. Sportweight socks go nice and fast after knitting a fingeringh weight pair, I must say.

About sock heels, SallyA asked:

Is the slip stitch heel the same as the eye of partridge heel? If not, what’s different?

They are similar, but not the same. The slip stitch heel has you slip the same stitch on every right-side row so you get little columns if slipped stitches, while the eye of partridge heel has you slip alternate stitches on every right side row, so you get a checkerboard effect with the slipped stitches.

Speaking of the slip stitch heel, the Camouflage socks have been worn and approved by the KOARC.



In other news, I’m still working on the Handsome Triangle.



I’ve made a lot of progress over the weekend — there are 72 rows to go. But they are long rows!

In the Book Giveaway, Laura S. was chosen by the random number generator. Laura, I’ve emailed you.

And Lucy is still hamming it up for the camera!




  1. Lisa in Georgia says:

    Your comments about stitch markers came at just the right time for me. I’m knitting a relatively easy (even for me!) scarf in the Midwest Moonlight pattern (Pam Allen’s Scarf Style book) and I kept screwing up the pattern. Seriously, what is so hard about counting to seven or nine? I put in some stitch markers and they’ve seriously helped.


  2. nichole says:

    I use those same Clover stitch markers, and I like them quite a bit. (except mine are pink and blue. I want purple and green ones now!)

  3. Wendy, I absolutely love the color of this shawl! I’m so tempted to get some of this yarn…..

  4. So, what do you think of Cider Moon yarns? That Wildwood is a beautiful colorway. And Miss Lucy can ham it up for the camera anytime :o)

  5. Lynne E. says:

    Lacis sells some very nice brass stitch markers. I love them, as a slightly heavier replacement for the Boye plastic wafers that fly off the needles so easily. For me, the brass markers tarnish, although this might not happen with others–something about my skin chemistry is very hard on metals of all kinds.

  6. Oooh, I like the camouflage socks.

    I’m a lawyer, so I tend to use paper clips as stitch markers, as they’re usually pretty close at hand!

  7. Your lovely new shawl made me look again at the Beautiful Triangle, which I had somehow passed over on first glance at the book. Do you think Sea Silk would be a successful yarn for this pattern?

  8. Laura from Italy says:

    As stitchmarkers I use the little colored rings they sell with the new brushes for my electric tootbrush. You know, the ones you can slip on the handle of the brush to let you recognize your brush. There are 4 for each new brush so by now I have lots of them. (I did not mention the brand of the tootbrush because I am not sure I can do it on here, but I think you know what I mean)
    Lucy is wonderful. I have 2 kitties too. I noticed most knitters have cats. Isn’t it great?

  9. I use black rubber O rings from the plumbing supplier, I was in picking up a new kitchen faucet, standing in line when I noticed them on the rack beside me & they came in many sizes for a dollar a bag, 20 to the bag. The man behind me in line thought I was nuts when I scooped a bag of every size from an inch in diameter down.

  10. You know, maybe I’m just cheap, but I usually just use a teeny, tiny, bit of yarn tied in to a teeny, tiny circle for a stitch-marker. I pretty much always have yarn with me! It’s good that Lucy is showing us her tummy as we’re not likely to see the tummies of either Chaos or Mayhem while mom is in Estes Park this week! Thanks, Lucy!! Here’s a big rub-a-dub tummy!

  11. anne marie in philly says:

    the susan bates hard plastic markers I have had from day 1 of knitting (1980) kept snapping. so I purchased the clovers in all the available sizes and have never looked back.

    the ragdoll markers are cool – but lucy looks cooler!

    the KOARC looks good in your latest sock creation.

  12. I like those little latchie ones and find I use them the most . . . by a lot. They’re handy for marking increases and decreases, too, for those patterns that say things like, “Increase 1 st every fifth row 9 times” . . . otherwise, I always lose track and going back to read my knitting looking for the last time I increased is always such a pain. Those markers, I can clip directly onto the row I made the increase and easily remove when I’m done.

    The pretty, beaded kinds of markers? I think they’re lovely to look at, but I rarely use them. They get tangled too easily in my yarn. I’ll use them to mark the beginning of a round, or for the center of a shawl or something . . . but even then, usually at that point I’m using a stitch marker that has a row counter attached….

  13. What adorable stitch markers you have! If you don’t use them for knitting what do you use them for? I think they’d be adorable in a charm bracelet.

    Right now my favorite stitch markers are the Clover brand in the very same colours as yours. I just bought another packet too! I just adore how thin they are. I do wish that they were sold in seperate sizes. I rarely use the jumbo sizes and I find I always need more of the smaller sized ones.

  14. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    I use the Clover stitchmarkers, also. I do have some of the fancy ones, and I love them. My favorites are some little plastic skulls (still being a punk rocker at heart) and I do use those.

    Love Cider Moon Glacier! The colorways are wonderful, and it’s a dream to knit.

    Oooh, that Lucy. It would be so tempting to smooch her belly!

  15. I heart the Clover purple and green stitchmarkets – they are also my favorite! The only others that I’ve used AND liked are the hard, translucent plastic ones by Susan Bates.

  16. I’ll second the ‘little scraps of yarn’ kind of markers. Being mainly a lace knitter, I tend to get very irritated at plastic bits that keep me from gripping my needles properly. Plus, I’m very ‘anti-gadget’ as a matter of principle.

    That being said, the Wallace and Gromit markers are truly fabulous. I’d make them into earrrings, though …. where did your friend find them????

  17. I coveteth your W&G stitch markers. No surprise there!! I don’t tend to use fancy stitch markers, either – love those Clover green & purples, plus I have some white & black rubber rings. I DO love the row counter stitch marker thingamabop I bought from Aija of Zer0 Markers on etsy – very nice for keeping track of repeats in fancy socks.

  18. I love fancy stitch markers, just not too fancy. I have a bit of a….problem…..I keep buying stitch markers! Before I discovered this obsession with pretty stitch markers, I used to buy those rubber grip things for pencils from the office supply store and cut them up for stitch markers. They were great and cheap!

  19. Hey! What happened to your pictures? LOVE the way they pop up now — never seen something like that before — Oh creative one 🙂 But you did it with not warning,….or did I just miss it?

  20. I’ll have to look for those purple and green stitch markers. I had to stop using the little loops of yarn because I kept knitting them in while knitting without looking. My fingers still aren’t trained enough to tell the difference between two kinds of yarn I guess. I like the fancy ones myself. I even made myself some the other day. I haven’t had them get caught in the knitting yet. (Knock on wood.)

    I love how Lucy poses for you.

  21. You know, I have never actually bought stitch markers, but I have many hundreds of them. My husband bought some steel maille rings to make a maille shirt, and I asked him to buy some aluminum ones too. I thought it would be fun for crafty endeavors, making maille jewelry. I haven’t made anything out of them yet, but I do use them as stitch markers! You can get a ton of them for effing cheap, and even add a bead or two if you like.

  22. thanks for the props, pal … I still love them, but have now found some other ones that you might also want take a look at: the dangle free markers from Hide and Sheep at – I’ll try to take a close-up of the millefiori ones I scored with red wires – but since they’re -um- “sold out”, I won’t be able to find the pix on the web 🙁

    now to watch the final final final Sopranos episode, so I can say I saw it!

    and of course back to the grey blob –

  23. Love the stitch markers. And your new sock is super pretty too!

  24. I too find the dangly, fancy stitch markers too distracting and they always seen to tangle in my knitting! I use the clover locking ones all the time altho I have the smooth clover plastic ones too.

    I have it on good authority (I um, called Skacel – heh) who said that they will eventually be making the lace needles available in larger sizes as the current sizes are selling like hotcakes. I also suggested they use the same brass and pointiness for DPNs. Now wouldn’t that be awesome?

  25. Marianne Y says:

    Thank you for the stitch marker discussion! There is a lot of good info in this discussion. I have been known to use paper clips or yarn as stitch markers, in a pinch. I have stayed away from the fancy stitch markers because at least some of them look like they could get caught in the yarn too easily. I like the idea of the tiny rubber bands as stitch markers!

    I bet those sterling silver rings that hold charms on a bracelet could work as stitch markers?

    I love your W&G markers! They could go on a bracelet, necklace, or earrings, or something.

  26. Thank you for the etsy link for the polymer clay animals…I just ordered some for a knitter friend.
    I have collected stitchmarkers for the past two years. There’s little chance I’ll run out, tho’ sometimes I find the pretty ones – jewelry-like – are much too long or heavy – unless of course, I’m only using one or two on my needles…

    Hmmm…a charm bracelet of stitch markers sounds like a great idea! The Handsome Triangle is gorgeous!

  27. i loooove the wallace and gromit stitch markers, I didn’t know about the clover ones but will have to buy and try – thanks. I use a fancy one to mark the begining of a round in larger works and lots of jewellers rings for pattern repeats. i did discover there are cheap ones which snag and more expensive but still cheap ones which are nicely finished. By more expensive but cheap I mean 10 cents each vs a bag of 50 for 2.99. The cheaper ones snag and catch on the yarn as the ends are not as tidy or snugged together as the dearer ones.

  28. No matter how many beautiful stitch markers I add to my collection, I always come back to my Clover removable ones – the aqua ones on the first half of my work and the orange ones on the second. Helps me keep my right and wrong sides straight.

  29. Oh knitter of so many beauteous socks — have you been over to nonaknits and checked out her new, improved sideways sock pattern? I’ve been wondering if you are tempted at all. It’s a whole different fish, but I think it’s very beautiful with the handpainted yarn she used. The striped one doesn’t impress me as much.

  30. Those Clovers are great, aren’t they? Lorraine picked me up a pair awhile back, and I’ve been hooked on them.

    I gasped audibly when I saw the sock yarn – love love love the colour!

  31. Uh, that should be ” picked me up some awhile back”, not “picked me up a pair”!

  32. Wendy- I feel exactly the same about stitch markers. I have a great collection, but tend to use the Clovers. I used them and went out and got a crapload.

    I like to share the wealth.

  33. Yay for Cider Moon!!! I have met Jacki and Gail and their colorways are my favorites. Next time you buy, get Rainbow Trout or Positano. You won’t be disappointed.

  34. i am in love with cider moon. it’s so good to see a little yarn dye-ing company really just explode – – and so deservingly. their colorways are gorgeous and their quality is divine. 🙂 glad you’re enjoying your purchase. 🙂

    and regarding stitch markers, i find i use the thin little clover ones most, myself, just ’cause they’re so tiny and they don’t get in the way. i do need to get myself some of the purple and green ones, currently i just have the red and blue.

  35. You can use your fancy stitchmarkers for project mascots/protectors. Pick one and attach it to your project bag. He/She will oversee your project and make sure the yarn doesn’t get tangled and the stitches fall off the needles. And if you find a mistake, you can blame the mascot/protector! I bought my mom a little stuffed gnome that she keeps pinned to her bag. She has asked for knitting help for a while, so I think it works.

  36. I also thought pony tail rubber bands would be great (they sure are cheap) but I found they would move out of position. I guess they stuck to the needle enough that the stitches actually moved over them. My standby need-a-stitch-marker is paper clips, especially the coated ones.

    I love your new photo feature; I got nervous when the screen went dark, but it’s much better than jumping to Flickr and back for each pic!

  37. Wendy, how do you make sure that you start you heel shaping in the right place? I’m knitting a sock (hopefully a pair — I’m not sure I’ll have enough yarn) from your detailed toe-up pattern, and I just ripped out most of a heel (even though I started at *exactly* seven inches (my foot is nine inches long).

    I’m thinking that I knit the shaping tighter than the rest.

    This is only my fourth sock, and I’d like to get get the basics straight before I knit socks for my (out-of-state) great-grandpa. Especially since high arches and deep heels run in the family.

  38. Hope you’re having fun with the shawl, it’s beautiful. My youngest has insisted I make my 1st pair of socks for her and in camo. Lucy is as lovely as ever:)

  39. Theresa in Italy says:

    Yep, I like the green and purple stitch markers from Clover, and I too wish they’d package them so you could buy the smaller ones all by themselves. I don’t use the bigger sizes nearly as much.

    The Camo socks look quite fine on the KOARC’s feet.

    Lucy looks quite fine no matter what she does. She already knows that, of course.

  40. Does that mean no stitch markers when knitting lace? I’m using some of the Clover Locking Stitch Markers but I’m find that they really get in the way of the yarn overs. Any alternatives? Perhaps coil-less safety pins?

  41. where did you get the wallace and gromit and sheepie stitchmarkers???
    just love them! sooo cute!

  42. Blog is lookin’ might good! Lucy has never been more kitty-boo-boo-boo’ish!

  43. Please divulge the source of your Wallace & Gromit stitch markers!! Even my husband was excited when he saw them (we’re both BIG fans)!

    Somebody could have a nice cottage industry with them. Are they glass?


  1. […] in case anyone was wondering, over on Wendy Knits, Wendy explains the difference between a slip-stitch and an eye-of-partridge […]